Arts and Culture Minister Edwin
Poots with Owen Monaghan, Chairman of the Ferguson
Heritage Midlands Group and Eric Jess, Chairman of
the local Harry Ferguson Celebration Committee.
THE Mayor of Lisburn, Councillor James
Tinsley, used a vintage Massey Ferguson digger last Friday to
cut the first sod of at a new memorial garden and information
centre dedicated to the machine's inventor.
The Mayor was performing the long awaited
ceremony at a site opposite the Harry Ferguson homestead
'Growell' close to Dromore.
The day represented the fulfilment of a dream
for the local 'Harry Ferguson Celebration Committee' and the
'Ferguson Heritage Midlands Group' from Virginia in Co. Cavan.
Both groups have been staging annual tractor
events at the Homestead for seven years and have now raised
enough funding to make a start on the garden.
Both the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and
Planners have given the project the green light and all its
fundraisers believe it will become a major tourist attraction.
People with an interest in Harry Ferguson
call regularly at the house which is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Adam
Harry Ferguson is of course remembered for
introducing the 'wee grey Fergie' tractor which is still used on
a number of farms. However, his other major invention was the
'three point linkage system'.
"This is attached to the rear of a tractor
and allows farmers to link many implements to it which makes
farming that much easier," said a Committee spokesperson.
"Many of his other inventions will also
feature at the Memorial Garden including those connected to the
building and flying of his own aircraft."
The Committees thanked Mr. Garry Galway of
Ballygowan for supplying the digger used to cut the first sod.
Attending the ceremony were officials from
Rural Development, Lisburn City Council's Tourist Department,
Northern Bank, Massey Ferguson GB, Laganside Rural Development,
Architects RPS Belfast and other sponsors from Great Britain.
The Poots family who own the Ferguson
Homestead and 'The Friends of Ferguson Heritage' were also
It is hoped the project will be completed by
July of next year.
Mr. and Mrs. Adam Poots, the Mayor
of Lisburn Councillor James Tinsley (on digger),
Owen Monaghan, Chairman of the Ferguson Heritage
Midlands Group and Eric Jess, Chairman of the local
Harry Ferguson Celebration Committee.